Tour Of A Japanese Starbucks, Which Is Unlike Any Starbucks You Will Ever Find

While some American chains make their global franchises appear almost indecipherably generic (was that Whopper ordered in Brazil, or in Dubuque?), Starbucks Japan, which has more branches than any other country outside of North America, has done an impressive job of designing unique and locally-influenced coffee shops to match their surroundings. The best and newest example of this concept can be seen at the chain's new Meguro location, a 69-seat space that more closely resembles a tradiitional chashitsu tea room than a coffee shop with Seattle roots.

The shop, situated in one of Tokyo's more noted design districts, opened last month in the ground-level of the company's recently-relocated Japanese headquarters. Wooden walls, screens that recall shoji sliding doors and Japanese plants lend themselves to the serene environment, which was deliberately fashioned to showcase the more conventional — and iconic — aesthetics of Japanese design and architecture. Visitors can grab a takeaway from the experience too: the Meguro shop sells exclusive mugs inspired by traditional Japanese ceramics. A souvenir for foreign visitors, perhaps?

The Meguro-based Starbucks, which opened in May 2013 in Tokyo's design district, stands apart from the rest of the country's 1000-plus branches by adopting more traditional Japanese design concepts.[/caption]
Modern elements do come into play here (see the seating), however you'd be hard-pressed to find a Starbucks location like this outside of Japan.[/caption]
There's communal seating at one seriously stylish, rustic wooden table, as well as perches for solo visitors. [/caption]